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Campus Life

Film Explores the Sacred and Absurd

What do Elvis Presley’s guitar and the Shroud of Turin have in common? Find out at a free screening of the feature-length documentary, MANA – Beyond Belief. The film will be presented 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Kennedy-Mcllwee Studio Theatre in Thompson Hall, followed by a question-and-answer session with co-director Roger Manley.

Manley, now director of NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design, traveled the world with filmmaker Peter Friedman, seeking examples of mana, the Polynesian word for the invisible energy exuded by precious things and sacred places. The resulting film takes viewers on a whirlwind, five-continent tour of the sacred and the absurd, exploring a diversity of cultures and characters, and revealing hidden dimensions of the human mind.

MANA—Beyond Belief was an opening night feature at Durham’s Full Frame Film Festival, San Francisco DocFest and the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam. Its North American premiere was held at Lincoln Center in New York. The film won best cinematography at the Avignon Festival and the grand jury prize at the Festival of Rhodes.